Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I volunteer at the festival?

 Click on Waiver & Liability Release QR Code, Select "Festival Volunteer" and "No Captain/Individual Registration/Volunteer" and fill out your information.  A festival organizer will contact you to give you further details.  Report to the "Registration Tent" on the day of the festival.

When does team registration begin and end? Team registration begins now, and ends on July 30th.

How much is the team registration fee and what does it include? Team registration fee is $950 per team if registered on or before May 30th, and $1,250 afterwards. This fee includes one practice session prior to the festival, one designated 15ft by 15ft team space in the team area during festival, use of the dragon boat, personal floating devices, and paddles during practice and day of race, a steersman and three races during the festival. A tent will not be provided for the team, however, the team is welcome to bring ONE 10ft x 10ft tent and chairs, and set up on the day of the festival.  Organizers shall not be held responsible for any items lost.

What is the minimum and maximum number of members each team can have?

Each dragon boat requires 21 team members which includes 20 paddlers and one drummer. The team can also sign up an additional 4 paddlers who would be substitutes, for a maximum of 25 team members on the roster.  Each team must have a minimum of 8 male and 8 female paddlers, with the other 4 paddlers of your choosing. You must also have a drummer. A steersman for all races will be provided.

Are there different racing divisions for the teams?

Each team is guaranteed three races. The times of the first round will determine which division each team competes in for the Semi-Final and Championship rounds.  Each division will have 8 teams.

Is there a weight limit for the team as a whole?

We do not have a weight limit.

Do we need to turn in the full team roster when we register for a team?

The Team Captain does not need to turn in the team roster when your team is registered. A LINK to the Liability Waiver Release Form will be sent to the team captain. Team Captain will be responsible to forward this link to your team. Only a maximum of 25 participants are allowed on the team. All team members will each individually need to sign the Liability Waiver Release Form prior to the free practice. Team Captain will be asked to drop participants off the team if there are more than 25 participants. Team Captain may change the roster up until the day PRIOR (FRIDAY 5PM) to the festival, provided that a Liability Waiver Release Form has been filled out online by the participants. All participants shall have a Liability Waiver Release Form on file with the organizers to participate.

Do I have to sign up a whole team?  What if I want to paddle, but am not part of a team? Can you assign me to a team?

If you are an individual interested in joining a team, please fill out the "Individual Registration and Waiver and Release Form" and we will attempt to find a team for you. The individual cost to participate is $40.00 prior to May 30th.  You will only have to pay your individual participant fee if a team is formed. Should you decide to withdraw after a team is formed, you will need to find a replacement participant or forfeit your fee.

Where is the practice session held at?

Monday through Friday prior to festival day, practice is at: Lakeshore State Park.

When are practice sessions held?

The Monday through Friday prior to the festival day. As soon as the full team registration fee is paid, an email with a link to access a google spreadsheet file will be sent to the Team Captain’s email address that was used at team registration.  Using this email address, the team captain will be able to schedule the practice. Practice session spots will be on a first come first serve basis. Friday practices will be reserved for out of town teams and for other earlier practices that were cancelled due to wind/thunderstorms.

In addition to the one free practice that comes with registration, would team be able to get more practices prior to the festival?

Additional practices can be purchased at $150 per session. You may schedule additional practices at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Is there a limit on the number of people we can bring to the practice session?

We have not set limits on number of people for the practice session. But we can only allow 21 people on a boat. Therefore, if you bring more than 21, you have to rotate them during the one-hour session. In the past, some teams were not able to bring all their members to the training, so they have asked other teams to fill the boat so they could hold the training as scheduled. It is recommended to have at least 16 people to be able to get a good practice session.

What is your cancellation policy?

You will receive a 100% refund if the festival is cancelled.

Can we wear sandals in the boat?

There could be broken glass in the water and on the beach.  Please wear either closed-toed shoes or sandals with secure straps. No flip-flops, please.  In the event that your boat tips, you may lose your flip flops if you have to swim to shore.

When will races begin and end during the festival?

Races will begin at 8:00 am and is planned to end around 5 pm on Saturday.  Completion time may change depending on the amount of teams participating.

When will race schedules be published?

Race schedules will be published the morning of the festival.  Please note that the race times are only APPROXIMATED.  Refer to the race results posted live on the day of the festival for marshalling. 

Where will paddlers park?

Parking is available at Summer Fest parking Lot P for $5.

In your experience what has been the key to a winning dragon-boat team? Team spirit is the most important factor for a team to win. Working together and paddling at the same time ensures victory.

I don't have a team but would like to participate in a racing team?

While it is highly encouraged to form a team, the race organizer can make a non-guaranteed attempt to work with individuals to form an ad-hoc team.  This would depend on having 21 individuals sign up.  If a team is formed, individual participant fee would be $50 per person.  The participant would be required to stay throughout the entire event, and race all 3 races, so as not to compromise the team.  Please sign up here - 

Can I fly a drone?

Disclaimer:  To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone at the Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival, all participants and visitors are required to adhere to the laws and regulations of Lakeshore State Park.  Please take a moment to review the park's rules, which are available on their official website - Lakeshore State Park Regulations.  Your  cooperation is greatly appreciated.  Thank you for helping us maintain a respectful and safe environment for all.

Previous year’s race results?




7:00AM - Team Registration & Campsite Set up

7:30AM - Team Captains Report to the Finish Line/Judge Tent for Final Instructions

8:00AM - Start Qualifying Dragon Boat Race Heats

10:00AM - Opening Ceremony - Dotting the Eye of the Dragon

10:40AM - Start Semi-Final Dragon Boat Race Heats

12:40AM - Lunch Break/Cultural Performances

01:30PM - Start Final Dragon Boat Race Heats

03:45PM - Awards Ceremony/Beer Tent Celebrations

05:30PM - Festival End

Who should we contact for answers to additional questions?

E-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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